The End of Real Food: Hijacking the Word “Diet”

By Nicole Martin

August 30, 2016

When people say they’re on a “diet,” what do they actually mean?

For most people it means losing weight. “Diet” and “weight loss” have been inextricably linked in our culture, mainly because of the last 50 years of advertising campaigns.

Which is really a shame.

Because what “diet” really means is whatever a species happens to be eating.

Get Real

The way it’s used commonly now makes it sound like a punishment. Like you’ve done something bad and now have to punish yourself through restriction.

The way we ought to approach diet is to look at what food we’re eating.

That sounds overly simplistic, but stay with me here, because there’s a significant distinction to be made when it comes to food.

Because a lot of what we eat as a culture isn’t actually food.

The actual definition of food is “anything that sustains growth and repairs tissue.”

So, an apple, for instance, is mostly comprised of food. Most of what makes up an apple can be broken down by your body for use in cellular growth and repair, or serves as roughage to keep all the different channels clean.

A Big Mac, on the other hand, is made up of a little bit of food. I’m sure there are some vitamins and minerals floating around in that small lake of secret sauce. Your digestive juices might happen upon a few stray protein strands. You might even find a complex carb or two that happened to fall out of the sky and adhere to a plastic poppy seed. But most of what’s going into your body isn’t food.

It’s stuff.

But not food.

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The One Question

The best way to think about food—and about diet as a whole—is to ask yourself this one question: If I eat this over a long period, is it going to bring me life or lead to death?

And as far as figuring out what to eat, if you let that question guide your dietary choices, you aren’t going to have to worry about cutting calories or drinking nothing but lemon-flavored water for the next three weeks.

It’s amazing how well the body adapts when you view food in the right way. The weight comes off. The belly fat disappears. The sicknesses you’ve lived with for decades begin to fade… and then disappear altogether.

The body is a miracle in a lot of ways. Its capacity to repair itself is one of the most magnificent.

You just have to feed it real food.

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